Old World Collectibles

Old World Collectibles

One of the more delightful hobbies you can have is collecting old-fashioned ornaments and figurines, especially Christmas-themed collectibles. You will sometimes be surprised what the crafters of these ornaments considered good to hang on your Christmas tree. Consider placing a blown-glass Leaning Tower of Pisa, toothpaste tube and brush, and sliced avocados among Santa Claus and his elves.

How are old world Christmas ornaments made?

Many of these old world Christmas ornaments are made of blown glass, which means a piece of glass called a parison is made molten and shaped by blowing air into it through a blowpipe. This can be done by a machine or by mouth. Many of these ornaments are mouth-blown. Other ornaments are made of porcelain or shatter-proof plastic.

Where are old world Christmas ornaments made?

Many of the old world Christmas ornaments were made in Germany, which has been exporting blown glass Christmas ornaments to the United States since the 1870s. Reproductions of the original designs are still being made. Other ornaments come from China, Turkey, and the United States.

What are some old world Christmas decorating ideas?

One of the fun things about these ornaments is how many ways they can be used to decorate your home during the holidays. Here are a few ways:

  • Pop them hanger-side down into the mouths of old, narrow-mouthed apothecary bottles, and place them on the mantel or on a side table.
  • Place ornamental balls along the mantel or a shelf and separate them with loops of silver beads.
  • Scatter some ornaments on the Christmas tree skirt beneath the tree.
  • Hang the ornaments with colorful grosgrain ribbon.
  • Use a cluster of ornaments as a tree topper.
  • If the ornaments have lost their hooks, include them as part of table displays or centerpieces. They can be placed in bowls, pots, and urns in nests of silver tinsel.
  • Place the littlest balls in paper candy cups and arrange them on pretty saucers.
  • To make these ornaments look more vintage, leave them in the sun during the few weeks before Christmas.
  • Decorate a curtain tie-back with ornaments.
  • Hang some ornaments in the windows with organza ribbon.
  • Put some of your old world Christmas glass ornaments in Mason jars.
How do you take care of old world Christmas ornaments?

When the holidays are over, wrap your collection of glass ornaments in acid-free tissue. Ideally, everything should go back into its own box. If the box has been lost, some ornaments fit nicely in old egg cartons. If they need washing before they are put away for next year, wash them one item at a time and make sure to put a towel at the bottom of the sink so they don’t chip. Be careful of any glitter. Use warm water with some mild dish-washing detergent and dry them thoroughly. Do not wash plastic ornaments with harsh cleansers such as ammonia, and store them away from heat.